In this article, the properties and health benefits / medicinal uses of rye are discussed below.
Botanical name: Secale cereale L.
Rye is the fruit of the rye plant, Secale cereale L., an herb of the botanical family Gramineae.
Properties of Rye
The contents of rye are very similar to that of wheat, just that rye contains more proteins and fiber than wheat. Below are the primary nutrients of rye.
• Carbohydrates – This is the most abundant nutrient of rye, representing about 55% of its total content. Starch is the primary constituent of the carbohydrate present in rye, with it being enclosed in a cellulose. This enclosure of starch in a cellulose slows down the digestion of rye, thus making it to release glucose into the bloodstream at a very slow and tolerable rate.
• Vitamins – As known with most grains, rye lacks vitamin C, provitamin A, and vitamin B12. This is why it is advisable to combine them with fresh vegetables and fruits that are rich in these vitamins. However, rye contains significant amounts of vitamin E, niacin, folates, and vitamins B1, B2, and B6.
• Minerals – Rye is deficient in an essential mineral known as calcium, that is why it is advised to be consumed together with dairy products for immense benefits. Rye however, is significantly rich in magnesium, phosphorus, and iron. Among trace elements present in rye, zinc and selenium stands out.
Health benefits / medicinal uses of rye
Rye is a highly nutritious grain with many medicinal values. Below are some of its indications:
Rye is of great benefits to those suffering from hypertension. This is due to its important effect on the arteries as well as its very low sodium content. The consumption of rye in any form as long as it remains unsalted is recommended for hypertension patients.
• Coronary heart disease and Arteriosclerosis
Almost all grains have the property of prevention of arterial degeneration, rye’s property in this case stands out even more. Rye makes the arterial walls more elastic, thus, making blood flow more easily and improves blood circulation in general.
For those suffering from arteriosclerosis, mainly in the coronary arteries which later leads to heart attack, will benefit immensely from the consumption of rye regularly.
The consumption of rye is highly recommended in cases of constipation. This is due to its richness in cellulose fiber.
• Cancer of the colon
The bile acids present in the colon such as lithocholic acid and deoxycholic acid, act as carcinogens (cancer causing) on the intestinal mucosa. The consumption of rye helps reduce the concentration of these bile acids. Moreover, rye is known to stop constipation which is a major cause of colon cancer.
Hence, the regular consumption of rye is highly indicated for those at high risk of colon cancer, as well as those who have been operated at one time or the other.